OC Arts & Culture Resilience Fund
*South Coast Repertory, photo by Jordan Kubat
By establishing the OC Arts & Culture Resilience Fund, supported by Arts Orange County, Charitable Ventures and Orange County Community Foundation, our collective purpose is to lend a helping hand to creative artists and help sustain the nonprofit arts and culture organizations that enrich and educate our community during this time of lost employment and closures due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
If you are an artist, arts organization, a foundation or community donor, please scroll down for more information.
We are now experiencing a human crisis of immeasurable consequence. Among those most profoundly impacted are artists — they have experienced the biggest drop in employment of any sector statewide, including in Orange County, where the creative sector directly employs more than 50,000 people. They include the musicians, actors, dancers, filmmakers and teaching artists – and many others who support them behind the scenes – whose creativity and craft give us comfort and bring beauty to our lives.
Of equal concern is the peril now faced by the nonprofit arts organizations that hire them. As a result of “stay at home” closures, these groups have already experienced debilitating financial losses of more than $16 million, according to a new survey by Arts Orange County. Most of these organizations will be unable to re-open until the final stage of the Governor’s Pandemic Roadmap, magnifying those losses. The impact of prolonged closures threatens the very existence of many of our non-profit arts organizations, including those on whom we rely to provide education and enrichment to our children, and therapeutic arts to our military veterans, elderly and disabled.
And yet, it is the artists and arts organizations that will be needed more than ever as we go into recovery mode.
The arts provide immense joy, solace, and therapy in good times and bad. The arts are essential and integral to the resilience and long-term emotional and economic well-being of our community. With your support, we are committed to ensuring our artists and arts organizations survive this precarious time.
Our response includes:
Bridge Grants to Arts Organizations — providing core operating support to independent nonprofit arts & culture organizations, enabling them to retain their employees and offer online programming and instruction until such a time as it is safe to gather audiences and participants in their venues. Most of these organizations anticipate at least five months of down time before they can reopen.
Financial Assistance to Individual Artists — the workforce that drives Orange County’s creative economy are mostly part-time employees, independent contractors or sole proprietors who cannot work as artists — or even at supplementary jobs — during the pandemic and need help making ends meet.